Alex James is a postpartum doula and nutritionist based in
downtown Toronto. She believes it's possible for all families to have an awesome postpartum experience, where they
are honoured, celebrated, rested, and well fed.
I’m Alex - and I’m so happy you found your way here.
So here’s where I do something I don’t do often in my life - I talk about me. I’m going to tell you all about me (probably more than you care to know), who I am, and what this website is all about. By the end of this, you’ll know if I’m someone you want to keep acquainted with...and I take no offense if I’m not for you!
I’m an early 30-something living in beautiful downtown Toronto. I’m married to an awesome human named Jason. I’ve visited many corners of the world (5 out of 7 continents) but I always come back to TO - it’s home. Jason’s family is in British Columbia, a gorgeous place that’s so fun to visit and hard to leave.
Things I like doing: eating, cooking, yoga, planning fun trips and adventures, eating, chilling in front of the TV...eating. I love music of many kinds and I play guitar, poorly but spiritedly. Cycling is my main way of getting around, although I like practicing my recently acquired driving skills when possible - occasionally you can find me zipping around in a car2go smartcar.
You might call me a modern day hippie. You know... I like sage and crystals, I make my own deodorant. (It works. Ask me for the recipe. It takes two minutes to make.)
What else? I’m a Taurus, so I’m crazy stubborn but also crazy loyal. I love talking about dreams and goals, which is balanced by the fact that I’m generally quite grounded, organized, and detail-minded. I like picnics and being outdoors, but with my British ancestry I burn easily (see, more than you need to know).
Food has literally and figuratively shaped who I am up to this point, and will continue to play a huge role in the unfolding of my life, both personally and professionally. Food for me is a source of pleasure, connection, and healing.
It was through food that I got healthy. In 2009, by changing what I was eating, I lost over 60 lbs, kicked my daily headaches to the curb, and just generally started to feel good in my body and my life. I’ve been a certified nutritionist since 2013 and have helped others feel great, too. Woo!
If you’re wondering what my eating style is - or where I fall on the great nutrition spectrum/divide that exists in our culture today - I’m of the Paleo-ish persuasion. Hippie or not, I love meat...and yes, I’m one of those people that voluntarily goes without gluten or grains most of the time. I love meat, veggies, and a whole range of clean, healthy fats. These are my feel good foods; the foods that truly fuel me, that I eat on a daily basis.
All that said, though, sometimes I eat and drink the things that don’t fuel me - *ahem* pizza *ahem* cider - and I make no apologies for it (but I do use digestive supports!).
Finally, dark chocolate. It is, and will always be, a constant in my life.
My passion has always been in food and nutrition, as you can see, so that’s how I naturally ended up supporting people nutritionally, but what makes me interested in the postpartum period specifically? At some point (I dunno, maybe I could hear my biological clock, as they say?) I started getting more interested in pregnancy, birth, babies, and parenting.
As I read more and more, and pursued further education and training on these topics, I realized two things:
1. Postpartum families, in particular the birthing person, are underserved in their communities. The postpartum period is not given the respect and attention it deserves.
These are pretty bold statements to make, but hear me out. We place so much emphasis on having a healthy pregnancy, and then having a healthy baby - indeed I know many nutritionists and practitioners who focus on these areas - but somehow we forget about the health and healing of the postpartum person, and the well-being of the whole family as they adjust to their new roles. Our medical system is set up so that the person who has just given birth, and their babe, don’t receive any care until 6 weeks following the birth - 6 weeks! A lot happens in 6 weeks.
2. The way we view the postpartum experience, the way we talk about it, is messed up.
Again, kind of a bold thing to say...but I stand behind my statement. This definitely ties in with the previous point, in the sense that we don’t live in a culture that honours the postpartum period as the sacred time that it is. We talk about exhaustion and sleep deprivation, often in a joking way, such that we’ve normalized the idea that the postpartum period inevitably sucks. This is problematic for many reasons. Yes, it’s a challenging time, but it does not have to suck. I actually believe it can be awesome...if we start to shift how we think about it, and begin treating it the way we would treat any other intense recovery period. Rest and support are critical. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?
So here I am.
I’m committed to supporting families in having a positive postpartum experience. I offer postpartum doula care, traditional Bengkung belly binding, meal prep services, and (coming in 2018) placenta encapsulation. If any of that sounds cool to you, let’s chat more. Let’s discover what an amazing postpartum experience would look like for you...and create a plan to make it happen.
Here’s a few more things you should know about me:
The best way to know if we’re a good fit is for us to meet and get to know each other! It’s important to choose the right support for your family. If I’m not it, that’s A-OK.
Thank you for being here. Especially if you’ve read all of this...you’re awesome.
I invite you to make yourself at home - look around, check out my blog, and keep in touch on Facebook or Instagram. My wish is that you take away whatever it is you need throughout your postpartum journey - great information, rock solid support, loads of encouragement and inspiration - it’s all here for you. Let’s do this!